Vol. 17, No. 16
April 26, 2021
INCOMPAS Opposes Fees Deterring Maine Broadband Deployment
INCOMPAS last week submitted testimony to the Maine Senate Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology opposing Maine LD 920. INCOMPAS expressed concern that the legislation will "harm the demand for alternative video and broadband choices for Mainers and impede the buildout of competitive broadband throughout Maine, including to its rural areas."
FCC Announces Opening of Robocall Mitigation Database
The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau issued a public notice on April 20, announcing the opening of the robocall mitigation database and providing filing instructions and deadlines.

The database includes a portal through which voice providers must file certifications regarding their efforts to stem the origination of illegal robocalls on their networks. Companies granted an extension for compliance with the call authentication mandate must file detailed reports on the steps they are taking to ensure they are not the source of illegal calls.

Voice service providers must submit required information in the database by June 20, and said intermediate providers and terminating voice service providers will be prohibited from accepting traffic from voice service providers not listed in the database beginning September 28.
Bill Proposes Increased Broadband for Low-Income Americans
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a bicameral bill they say would increase access to broadband service for low-income urban and rural Americans and help states increase awareness and enrollment in the Lifeline program. The bill would:
  • Award grants to at least five states
  • Direct the FCC to consider several factors in evaluating the applications
  • Allow states to use the funds for a variety of Lifeline enrollment efforts
  • Require the FCC to issue a report to Congress within a year of establishing the grant program evaluating the program’s effectiveness
Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing on Rural Broadband
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on April 20, on examining internet connectivity needs and opportunities in rural America. Witnesses included: Tim Johnson, OEConnect and Otsego Electric Cooperative; Vickie Robinson, Microsoft Global Airband Initiative; Johnny Park, Wabash Heartland Innovation Network; and Jennifer Prather, Totelcom Communications, on behalf of NTCA. Prather said objectives for consideration with respect to any broadband infrastructure plan should include: future-proofing networks; coordinating with and leveraging existing broadband programs; directing funding to unserved areas; holding providers accountable; maintaining networks; leveraging community-based providers; and promoting local partnerships.
House GOP Urges FCC to Not Impose Stringent Net Neutrality Rules
Twenty-six Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on April 16, urging her to avoid imposing what they say are stringent net neutrality regulations. They asserted capital investment in American broadband networks soared after restoration of a light tough regulatory approach in 2017, and said if the FCC chooses to amend the strong consumer protections already in place, overregulation will have far reaching and adverse consequences for consumer access, consumer prices and competition.
Senate Committee to Consider Broadband, Supply Chain Bills
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene an executive session on April 28, to consider, among other things:
  • S.326, Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act, which requires the Commerce Department to conduct a biennial assessment of the contribution of the digital economy to the U.S. economy
  • S.198, Data Mapping to Save Mom’s Lives Act, which requires FCC to incorporate data on maternal health outcomes into its broadband health maps
  • S.1260, Endless Frontier Act. which creates supply chain resiliency program
Bipartisan Bill on Wireless Security Introduced
Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) reintroduced the Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act, a bill that would require the NTIA to provide Congress with a report on cybersecurity vulnerabilities in 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

“While 5G is inherently more secure than older networks most of our calls, texts and data traverse on 2G, 3G and 4G networks,” Eshoo said in a statement. “We lack a full picture of the vulnerabilities across those networks that Americans use every single day.”